Hunstanton’s Community Orchard was filled with residents enjoying the long-awaited spring sunshine to celebrate Blossom Day.
The event on Saturday found not all the trees in bloom but, of the 101 in the orchard, the Orchard Warden’s tree, a Black Worcester Pear, had the most blossom.
Warden Pat Richardson said: “This is an early flowering pear, it’s a really old variety that was probably introduced by the Romans.
“It was first recorded in Warden Abbey, Bedfordshire in the thirteenth century and tradition has it that when Queen Elizabeth l visited Worcester in 1575 she so admired a tree planted in her honour and laden with pears that she directed the city to add three pears to its coat of arms.
“At one stage there were only five of these trees in the whole country but thankfully stocks are now building up again, so we are part of an important plan to keep these old varieties going”
Local groups and businesses had stalls around the Community Centre field and delicious cakes, scones and campfire doughnuts were on sale from the Brownies, Cubs and Scouts.
Anglia in Bloom, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Hunstanton Gardeners, and Northfields Allotments represented the gardening and nature sector while charities including Hunstanton Foodbank, The Rotary Club and Inner Wheel, the Knitting Group, Hunstanton Community Players and others were represented.
Artist and toymaker James Dunbar chose the event to launch the Happy Eye Studio’s range of Victorian-style jumping jacks and Whirligigs that proved very popular, and Adam Tones from Animal Encounters visited with his barn owl.
The Red Hat Ladies were out in force adding glamour to the event in their purple and red and newest member Lady Rose (Val) said she had enjoyed the day tremendously.
New this year was the Fun Dog Show organised by Lisa Powell, and the most eagerly anticipated class was ‘the dog the organiser would most like to take home’ that was finally awarded to a four-year-old Border Terrier called Monty owned by Tibby Owles. Profits from the Dog Show were shared between Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Le Strange Community Orchard.
The Fire Service brought along the Hunstanton Fire engine and were kept busy answering questions and letting people see inside whilst also running a recruitment drive and Rigil Kent said: “It was definitely worth coming along today to meet potential recruits.”
Tommy the Clown, Rollo and his Punch and Judy Show, Face Painting and a bouncy castle kept the youngsters entertained and music was provided by the excellent Hunstanton Concert Band.
Norfolk folk musicians Rig-a-Jig-Jig led children Pied Piper style winding through the fruit trees. As they went the children blew special magic bubbles to ensure the trees grow strong this coming season and produce lots of fruit.